tv ABC7 News 1100PM ABC November 21, 2016 11:05pm-11:36pm PST
that's why he ruled arson. and he decided the deep fryer was the point of origin. so, how did the fire get from here to the deep fryer? [ dial clicks ] max, can you turn that fan on for me, please? [ switch clicks ] [ switch clicks ] doesn't seem that the flame could ever travel that far. no. what does that mean? the fire was deliberate. this was arson. it doesn't mean that leo started it. yeah, well, whoever did... used something to ignite the blaze, like a, uh... like a kitchen rag. [ flames whoosh ] and then he threw it into the deep fryer. [ flames whoosh ] grease fires get smoky very fast. the victim, mr. jordan, would've woken up in the smoky basement, while upstairs, plumes of hot air and gas were being built up. the door was locked. [ screaming, pounding on door ] mr. jordan would've screamed for help. our good samaritan, karl,
heard the screams outside, ran in. [ man screaming ] ♪ the door to the basement was locked. [ door handle rattles ] he tried to break it down but couldn't. [ thumping ] at that point, the fire reached flashover. it became so intense, karl had to give up, but when he tried to get out, he got lost in the smoke, finally collapsing near here, the site of another low burn. these bins -- what was in them? recycling -- cans, bottles, used cooking oil. they used to be plastic instead of metal. oh. you had a hood like this back then, right? yeah. it was regulation back in 2001 -- same as today. if the fire started at the deep fryer, a hood like this would've slowed it way down, maybe even put it out. what if the fire started somewhere else? like in a barrel of used cooking oil. fire went up the wall, across the ceiling,
through the vent hood, flames shot out above the deep fryer. no hood extinguisher could've stopped that. maybe the fire started right here -- the oil bins. as opposed to the deep fryer. yeah. this is where they found karl. maybe karl didn't try to save anyone, because he's the one that set the fire. maybe he stayed to watch his creation burn until it caught up with him. ♪ so, leo's not off the hook, but -- but our good samaritan sure looks like a good suspect. ♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ you think karl got trapped and burned by a fire he started? happens all the time. hey, where's sam and tess? still reviewing the transcripts from paul's interviews. so far, they haven't found anything not in the court record. they seem bored out of their minds. uh, maxine, can you tilt the screen? i'm getting a -- [ air horn blows ] oops. i can either film this later -- [ air horn blows ] [ snickers ] apologies. so juvenile. frankie, go on. karl's a solid suspect. you know, arsonists get off on being close to the flames... [ air horn blows ] ...feeling the power. [ air horn blows ] what are you doing? just feeling the... [ air horn blows ] ...power. [ air horn blows ] [ snickers ] i'm sorry. actually, i'm not sorry. this is fun. you want to try?
all right. i get it. forget it. you...are...a... [ air horn blows ] ♪ what was karl's motive? he has no record for arson or vandalism. he doesn't have a criminal record, but he does have a hero record. a month before the scarlata fire, karl pulled a 12-year-old girl out of heavy surf at jones beach. and before that, he saved his neighbor by administering cpr. could be coincidence. three times in less than a year? either karl is batman... or there's no such thing as a hero. mm. [ air horn blows ] paul: how do you like working in ciu? it's great -- very rewarding. what about working for hayes morrison? more of the same. sounds a bit canned, especially since, uh, she stole your job. it's ancient history. all right, let's, uh, move on to more recent history. your last case -- things ended rather tragically. you're talking about george stayner's suicide?
yes. is that really relevant? i want the audience to understand the stakes for you at this job. sometimes, it's literally life or death. has anything like that ever happened to you before? i've been to a lot of crime scenes, i've seen bodies, but... actually seeing it happen... do you think there's anything you could've done differently? not me, no. you were with maxine, right? yeah. there's nothing she could've done, either. i mean, the guy was going to prison, he knew he couldn't handle it. do you think she could have tried harder to talk him down? [ chuckles ] maxine tends to attack every problem head-on, which usually works for her, but, you know... so, you think if she had been a more-skilled negotiator, the man might still be alive? that's not what i said. you know what? let's, uh -- let's back up, delete it, start again. no. no, no. this is great stuff. i-i'm really interested in your take on leo's case. unless, of course, you -- you want me to stop the interview? no.
you actually think i'd risk my life just to get my picture in the daily news? you didn't plan on risking your life. fire spread quick. you got trapped. i got trapped because i ran into a burning building when i heard someone screaming. a building you happened to be walking by at 3:00 a.m.? i was in a band, our gigs would run late. i -- i'd be too amped up to sleep, so i'd go for these long walks to wind down. yeah, publicity you got playing hero must have been good for your band, huh? hey, what i got from "playing the hero" was six months in a burn unit, having my wounds debrided with an iron brush. ♪ i-i-i get that you believe leo doesn't belong in prison, but trust me -- he definitely started that fire. if you weren't there until after the fire started burning, how could you know? because he told me. h-he wrote me letters when i was in the hospital -- said he was sorry. [ scoffs ] he confessed. [ buzzer, door opens ] look who's here. [ door closes ]
we got our shooting credentials restored. goodie! [ buzzer, door opens ] hi, leo. [ door closes ] leo, why did you send these letters to karl if you didn't start the fire? uh, he was hurt real bad, and i wanted him to feel better. you said that you felt sorry that he was hurt. you wrote that. i-it was really sad what happened to him and the other guy. when something sad happens, you're supposed to say "sorry." leo, did you start the fire? no! i told you. then why did you say you didn't mean for him to get hurt? i told you -- because i felt bad for him that he was in the hospital. leo, do you know the difference between right and wrong? [ scoffs ] did you know how to turn on the stove? my dad taught me never to play with the stove. someone could get hurt. someone did get hurt. leo, do you swear you didn't start the fire? i pinkie-swear it. ♪
paul: you uncovered a totally new point of origin for the fire at the restaurant kitchen. is that right? uh...yeah. it's pretty cool, you know, using science to uncover the truth. where'd your interest in all this stem from? oh, i got into forensics when... [ clears throat ] ...when i was locked up. [ clears throat ] oh, right. you -- you were incarcerated -- uh, three years, queensboro? yeah. yeah, grand-theft auto. but -- but, you know, my -- my cellmate, rey, he put me onto the "forensic files," and there was only one tv on the block, so we kind of watched together every day. i-i got hooked. guess rey helped you find your purpose, huh? yeah. i mean, without this, who knows where i'd be right now? he, um... pretty much saved my life.
[ mouse clicks ] [ mouse clicks ] paul: did he ever get into trouble when you guys were growing up? no. nothing serious. ...a couple of kids were... you know, kids can be jerks. ...got mad because we wouldn't let him in our tree house. damn. [ speaking indistinctly ] [ flash drive clicks ] [ beeping ] [ keyboard clacks ] you're gonna want to see this. found this on paul's computer. uh, future reference -- consent to pull it out doesn't equal consent to stick it in. what were you doing on paul's computer? [ mouse clicks ] paul: did he ever get into trouble when you guys were growing up? no. nothing serious. pushed a couple of kids for teasing him. you know, kids can be jerks. once, leo got mad 'cause we wouldn't let him in our tree house. we didn't want him to fall and get hurt. he didn't understand. later, after we left, he set the tree house on fire.
[ keyboard clacks ] that is a similar prior act. more like an identical act. leo has a history of starting fires when he's angry. paul and leo's brothers knew it all along. ♪ there's an ocean daddy, how big is a blue whale? hmm. ok google, how big is a blue whale? blue whale typically has a weight of 300,000 pounds. huh. an ocean filled with creatures... ooh! this is where mom does a big whale noise. whale noise? ok google, what noise does a whale make? [whale noise] [giggling] alright, let's keep going. an ocean filled with crea... an ocean filled with crea... do whales sleep? ok google, do whales sleep? (groaning continues) you got one more.eed here we go.g push. congrats! i hear you're having a baby.
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leo setting fire to the tree house parallels him setting fire to the restaurant. it is beyond damaging, and you withheld it. that story would never be allowed in court. i don't care about the court. i care about the truth -- clearly, an alien concept to you. hayes, i think it's -- he buried footage that makes leo look guilty -- hid it from us. your employee stole footage from me worth thousands of dollars. that's felony theft. who made that valuation -- your mother? calm down. okay, look, i'm trying to help leo and, in the process, hundreds of others like him, who are being railroaded by the system because they lack the wherewithal to protect themselves. and if you have to lie to do it... people with intellectual disabilities make up nearly 3% of the general population, but it's almost triple that in the prison population. that's not a lie. that is a fact! one that you're up-front with because it supports your agenda. you agree with his agenda. noble intentions don't make it okay to withhold information or obscure the truth. my job as a filmmaker is to tell leo's story in an impactful way. giving you a free pass to manipulate the audience, leo, his family -- anything to ensure that your movie gets a happy ending so someone buys it. that is all you care about, because underneath the empathy for people like leo, you're a whore.
and i'm done. hayes. i choose the cases, remember? i'm unchoosing this one. you can't do that. we had an agreement. then you're a whore, too. get that out of my face! [ clatter ] [ glass shatters ] vince spends his whole life taking care of and protecting leo and then throws him under the bus on-camera? why? maybe it was an innocent slip. hayes: no such thing. where's paul? out buying a new camera. what if vince wanted to make sure that leo wasn't exonerated, make sure the truth wouldn't come out? you think vince lit the fire, let leo take the fall? the insurance payout did have a lot of zeros after it. tess: i found something odd. vince didn't deposit his insurance payout. he signed it over to powell & associates. i called to ask about the transaction, but as soon as i said i was ciu -- they hung up on you? how'd you know? their business is money laundering. they hire ivy league attorneys to hide money for super-rich corporate titans. they recruited heavily from my law school. vince was definitely not super-rich. i'll take care of powell. you keep digging on vince. getting right back on your horse.
good for you! where are you going? to the bathroom. i'll be right back. oh, actually, i might be a while. i'm big on whole grains. ♪ paul: okay. so, what kind of cop are you? second-generation. no complaints, no problems. i'm proud of my time. you liked being a cop. why retire? i was ready to move on. [ groans lightly ] you okay? yeah. i just -- i tweaked my back last week. did that, uh, happen during the george stayner incident? you remember the george stayner incident, right? he killed himself in front of me, so yeah, i remember. sam suggested you might have been able to handle that situation better -- maybe if you'd been less aggressive. sam said that? do you feel responsible for what happened? a man died that day. i'm not interested in helping you make that into entertainment.
♪ ms. morrison. glen powell. i know an associate of yours called the office. however, we're bound by client-privacy regulations. i'm here on a personal matter. my co-op board wants to restructure the shareholder contract to safeguard against owners renting to the airbnb types. do you know how long it would take you to draft us a new contract? about a week...tops.
you can't take that! sure i can. just like i'm sure i can have the feds crawling up your ass in less than 10 minutes. money laundering is like catnip to the justice department. or you can tell me where vince scarlata was stashing his money. [ mouse clicking, computer beeps ] vince had the funds transferred to ace den. it's a high-roller casino -- very hush-hush. vince was a gambler? not a very good one. he was in pretty deep. that insurance payout saved his life. ♪
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you didn't tell us the whole story, mr. scarlata. what story's that? we know about your secret. i assume you're talking about his gambling debt. that hasn't been a secret for a long time. that still doesn't mean you didn't burn the restaurant down. wait. you think i set the fire? that restaurant was my father's legacy, his life's work. i could never burn that place down. the insurance payout's a pretty big motive. you think i'd let my brother rot in prison for money? when our parents died, i swore i would always protect him. so, where were you the night the restaurant caught fire? the restaurant closes at 10:00 every night, so he was home around 11:30. and he was asleep beside me when we got the call about the fire. are we done here? yeah. [ sighs ] that's enough. you want to check his alibi at the building, or should i? i don't know. can you trust me? [ scoffs ] what's that supposed to mean? you never know how i'm gonna react to a situation. i might come across too aggressive. [ clears throat ] i didn't mean it like that.
how did you mean it? that's exactly what they want. i don't give a damn who sees. you have no idea what that situation was like for me. i was right there. george had a gun 2 feet from my face. i didn't know if he was gonna shoot me or shoot himself. you're right. i'm sorry. i don't need your apology, and i sure as hell don't need your pity. ♪ [ cap clicks ] [ elevator bell dings ] oh! hold the door! hey. vince's alibi checked out. his doorman confirmed he was at home when the fire started. makes leo our prime suspect again. unless vince set some kind of delaying device to start the fire later. sam, you're blocking frankie. could you -- does that help? nope. good.
[ thud ] oops. i -- i dropped my badge. [ exhales deeply ] they annoy me. you can't avoid them forever. don't bet on it. when i was 16, the secret service changed my code name from "halo" to "houdini." i'm guessing "halo" was ironic? delayed-ignition devices -- go. there was nothing in the original reports that -- forget about reports. go back to the physical evidence. i would if i could. they were destroyed in -- you ready for this? -- a fire at the nypd evidence warehouse. the restaurant goes up in flames, as does our case. maybe not. what about karl? i mean, he was burned in the fire, which means there'd be trace amounts of any chemicals consumed in that fire on his skin. burn units always take samples in a suspected-arson case -- blood, hair, skin. i'm sure they ran panels on him. get his records -- anything you can get your hands on. mm-hmm. if we learn more about the fire, perhaps it will help us figure out who started it. all right. [ elevator bell dings ] [ sighs ] thank you. paul: is hayes morrison easy to work with? easy? no.
great? yes. she's a wiard, a force of nature -- exactly what the ciu needs. this unit is devoted to making sure there really is justice for all. and that includes people with diminished capacity, like leo? for everyone. injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. sounds like the sound bite of a man running for office in the near future. no comment. any chance the u.s. attorney's ongoing investigation of you might derail those plans? absolutely not. because they're not going to find anything. i re-ran chem panels on karl's blood and tissue samples -- found trace amounts of triethanolamine. what does that mean? triethanolamine is a common emulsifier. it's very stable. that's why it's in everything from dishwashing detergent to herbicide. i took separate tubes and mixed vegetable oil with every item found in the restaurant that contained triethanolamine. in hopes that one of them will cause a chemical reaction? exactly. how...long has it been? two hours. how long do we wait? [ chuckles ]